Gustavus Wind Orchestra releases new album, “Awakening” Posted on April 13th, 2020 by

The Gustavus Adolphus College Department of Music proudly announces the release of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra’s newest album, Awakening, under the direction of Dr. James Patrick Miller. The recording is now available on digital¬† platforms including iTunes and Spotify, while a physical copy of the CD can be purchased through the Gustavus Book Mark.

Awakening explores themes that have always been common to the human experience, but in these uncertain times, they seem especially pertinent. “From destruction comes healing; from death, rebirth; from separation, reconciliation; and from the end we must begin anew,” Miller writes in the album’s notes. While the recording project has been in process for several months, he says it has taken on a new significance given the current state of the world.

The title track of the album is Jamshied Sharifi’s “Awakening,” a short symphony for wind ensemble which Sharifi wrote about the Arab Spring in 2011. Miller says this piece anchored the recording and dictated the direction of the remainder of the works included on the album. “The music is deeply connected to loss, grieving, isolation, and the rebirth or recovery that follows,” he says.

James Syler’s viola concerto, “Love Among the Ruins,” features Assistant Professor of Viola Justin Knoepfel and looks at love as a “timeless force” despite the pain and destruction in the world.¬† Other works include Warren Benson’s “The Solitary Dancer,” Julie Giroux’s “No Man’s Land,” and John Mackey’s “The Frozen Cathedral.”

Miller says the diverse range of music included was intentional. “It is very important to me that the album reflects unique and underrepresented viewpoints and ideas musically,” he says. “This album is most certainly not a traditional band CD, but instead presents several works of art that are seldom known or heard, new, and uniquely original in their voices.”

To purchase the album, please visit the Gustavus Book Mark online or your favorite digital music retailer.


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